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Atlético join the title celebrations

Published: Friday 14 May 2010, 11.28CET
A beer soaking, Club Atlético de Madrid's long overdue success, "shark bites", multiple relegations and a game of 'rock, paper, scissors' all make UEFA.com's review of the week.

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Published: Friday 14 May 2010, 11.28CET

Atlético join the title celebrations

A beer soaking, Club Atlético de Madrid's long overdue success, "shark bites", multiple relegations and a game of 'rock, paper, scissors' all make UEFA.com's review of the week.

Team: Club Atlético de Madrid
Most football fans have experienced the extreme emotions that following a team entails, but not many clubs put their supporters through the mill quite like Atlético. Spanish double winners in 1996, Atleti were relegated four years later; joyous UEFA Champions League qualifiers last season, they found themselves in the relegation places five games into this campaign. This week, however, they moved from that particular low to a soaring high, winning their first major European trophy in 48 years. In addition, 'Los Sufridores' (The Sufferers) were saved the anguish of a penalty shoot-out in Hamburg, Diego Forlán grabbing his second in the 116th minute to beat Fulham FC 2-1 and write another chapter in Atlético's tumultuous history.

Player: Diego Forlán (Club Atlético de Madrid)
In 2004, Forlán left Manchester United FC after a two-and-half year spell at Old Trafford that never quite took off. However, after enjoying a prolific goalscoring record with Villarreal CF and Atlético, he has certainly made his impact on English football this season, scoring the goals that knocked Liverpool FC out of the UEFA Europa League semi-finals and then striking twice against Fulham FC in the showpiece itself on Wednesday. "When I left United, I was playing in the one of the best teams in the world, but it was difficult for me to play," the 30-year-old said. "I don't know if English fans are looking at me differently now."

Goal: Óscar Cardozo (SL Benfica)
It may have been a simple poacher's strike from six metres, but for Benfica it confirmed the title would return to Lisbon for the first time since 2005 after four seasons of FC Porto dominance. Cardozo scored both goals in the 2-1 win against Rio Ave FC, taking his season tally to 26 in 29 games in the league. For good measure, he also topped the UEFA Europa League scoring charts alongside Claudio Pizarro with nine goals.

Quote: Marcin Wasilewski (RSC Anderlecht)
"At the start, it looked like I had been bitten by a shark."
Defender Wasilewski recalls the state of the injury he sustained at the start of the season after making his playing comeback on Saturday.

Number: 103 (Chelsea FC)
Since winning back-to-back titles under José Mourinho in 2005 and 2006, Chelsea have seen Manchester United dominate the Premier League scene. However, on Sunday the Blues had a chance to regain the crown and not only did they achieve it, but did it in some style, with a record 8-0 win against Wigan Athletic FC giving them 103 goals for the season – the highest top-flight total since Tottenham Hotspur FC in 1962/63. After leading Chelsea to the title in his first season in charge, Carlo Ancelotti was in no mood to rest on his laurels, though, saying: "I hope to stay here a long time and win a lot of titles."

Marathon effort: Fulham FC
Fulham's European campaign started last July and after 19 games – and 63 in total this season – it was only a goal four minutes from the end of extra time that finally scuppered them. Along the way, Roy Hodgson's side accounted for UEFA Cup holders FC Shakhtar Donetsk, Juventus and Hamburger SV. Despite the heartache of falling just short in their bid to win a first major trophy, no one could argue with Hodgson's assessment of his side's efforts this term. "It has been a magnificent achievement – everyone wants to finish first but to finish second is something we can be very proud of."

Quick change: Louis van Gaal
Harry Redknapp might have been given an impromptu shower by his Tottenham Hotspur FC players after they recently secured a UEFA Champions League qualifying place, but such acts of celebration are standard practice at FC Bayern München, with beer, not mere water, the liquid of choice. However, before Bayern's last game of the season at Hertha BSC Berlin – in which they were virtually assured of winning the title – media speculation suggested that, while the players would be quite happy to douse each other with the three litre vessels, they might refrain from soaking their coach. As usual, Van Gaal was dressed in a suit and tie at the game, but emerged from the tunnel two minutes into the second half donning a tracksuit, drawing an enthusiastic reaction from the Olympiastadion as the usually taciturn Dutch coach resigned himself to his fate.

Playground tactics: Zlatko Junuzović (FK Austria Wien)
With the match goalless, heading into the final minute and Austria Wien needing a win at leaders FC Salzburg to keep their title hopes alive, the visitors won a free-kick in a dangerous position. Austria Wien's usual set-piece taker Michael Liendl strode forward, but midfielder Junuzović was determined to take responsibility. Following a brief discussion, the two decided to settle who would take it by means of a game of 'rock, paper, scissors'. Junuzović's stone beat Liendl's scissors at their second attempt and the 22-year-old Austrian international promptly scored to give his side the win with Liendel joking afterwards: "It was good that I lost." It was all the no avail, though, as Salzburg won on the last day of the season to deny Junuzović and Co.

Multiple demotions: Jamie Devitt (Hull City AFC, Grimsby Town FC and Darlington FC)
Getting relegated is hard to take, but playing for three demoted clubs in one season? That was the fate of Republic of Ireland Under-19 midfielder Jamie Devitt this term as all three English clubs he was involved with in 2009/10 dropped a division. The 19-year-old is registered with Hull, but also made loan appearances at Grimsby and Darlington, who finished in the bottom two places in England's fourth tier. "I have had a bit of stick from my friends, they have all been ribbing me about the situation," Devitt said. "Some of them have told me that I will be the answer to a quiz question in the future." There is a silver lining to Devitt's story, though – he has been offered a new two-year contract at Hull.

Efficient goalscoring: Fenerbahçe SK
Fenerbahçe SK may be just a game away from clinching the Super League title, but what looks on the surface like being a decent season has been mitigated by one statistic: in 26 of their 54 competitive games this term, they have scored just a single goal. Thirteen of those matches have ended in 1-0 wins for Christoph Daum's side, who have only managed to score more than three goals twice this term. It is a far cry from Daum's last stint in charge at Fenerbahçe when, in 2005/06, the Yellow Canaries recorded just two 1-0 wins and struck four goals or more in 11 matches. However, goals are not everything: four years ago Fenerbahçe came second to arch-rivals Galatasaray AŞ whereas this time can wrap up the title with victory against Trabzonspor on Sunday.

Last updated: 15/05/10 11.10CET

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